UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Geert Cappelaere, said continuing violence in Yemen is fuelling one of the worst hunger crises in the world, with nearly 7 million people not knowing where their next meal will come from and in desperate need of food assistance.
By Kadiatu Sesay
“Millions of children in Yemen are acutely malnourished and many are dying from diseases that are entirely preventable,” Cappelaere said, adding that nearly 2.2 million children are malnourished, including half a million who are severely malnourished and at imminent risk of death if they do not receive urgent care and specialized treatment.
“Without further action from parties to the conflict and the international community, Yemen is at a serious risk of plunging into famine – with even more children’s lives hanging in the balance. We are in a race against time.”
“When a country reaches a stage of famine, it means many lives have already been lost. We should never reach a point where we see children dying of starvation and bereaved mothers mourning their loss on television screens,” said Muhannad Hadi, WFP Regional Director for the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and East Europe. “If we act now, many lives could be saved in Yemen. We call on the international community to urgently provide us with sufficient funding and to help us avert famine across Yemen.”
Earlier this month, WFP announced that it is scaling up its emergency food operations in Yemen to support up to 9 million people who urgently need food assistance. WFP also aims to expand its nutritional support to prevent or treat acute malnutrition for 2.9 million children under five, and pregnant and nursing mothers, including from those families that are already assisted with food or commodity vouchers.